David Meaux and Cole LeBlanc, the faces behind Sweet Crude Rum, are toasting in celebration as their rum recently received top honors in the Washington Cup Competition. The competition is exclusively for American-made spirits and liquor, allowing products to be showcased and sampled through three phases of judging — judge’s choice, bartender’s choice and people’s choice.
The Washington Cup says the awards reflect the state of American distillers and distilleries. “A scant decade ago, there were only a handful of small craft distilleries; today there are more than 400,” says Doug Frost with the Washington Cup Competition. Some of the spirits represented reflect regions and local crops — like Rank Wildcat’s Sweet Crude Rum made from sugar cane.
More than 100 spirits were judged, with 61 selected to receive medals. Only six, however, were named Washington Cup winners. Rank Wildcat Spirits was among a few other well-known names like Knob Creek Distillery and Buffalo Trace Distillery to snag the big award. “We are thrilled that a craft product from Louisiana’s smallest rum distillery is represented in such a small and prestigious group,” Meaux says.
Meaux and LeBlanc tell The IND they have additional ideas for spirits in the works, but nothing ready for sampling — be on the look out for new ideas from these go getters making a name for Louisiana distilleries.
Photo by: Kari Walker
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